Monday, February 24, 2014

Why Do I Write About Illness?

I was invited by Leslie Rott who works with the Partnership for Palliative Care, and has her own terrific blog - - to offer a post that responds to the question:

"Why do you blog about your illness?"

Here is my response:

My blog,,  focuses on the impact of illness on the couple relationship.  My audience consists of people with illness and their significant other and other caregivers, along with the health care practitioners who work with them.  

I blog about this topic because I have a chronic pain condition and not only does this deeply affect my husband and our relationship, but his hope and resilience have been as healing for me as any medication or treatment.  Yet this topic is rarely seen as part of the healing equation and little is written about it.  Blogging about couples and illness also helped me write my book:  IN SICKNESS AS IN HEALTH: Helping Couples Cope with the Complexities of Illness (Roundtree Press, 2013),

If you're part off a couple illness is never a solo flight.  It may reside in one partner's body, but two lives are dislocated, and two wills can be engaged in the healing process.  Partners and practitioners can work together to help the couple manage the illness and weather the upheavals it introduces into the relationship.

Health care is overloaded and under-resourced; and medicine focuses primarily on the biological and very little on the social.  Yet the patient lives in and is most influenced by her social networks, at the  center of which lives her significant other.  If involved, the significant other can reinforce and augment the treatment; and if disengaged or under-informed, he can inadvertently or purposely derail it.  

The impact of illness on the couple relationship is profound, and how the couple weathers that impact has a direct effect on the course of the illness.  In addition, if practitioners considered the social, particularly the couple, as the treatment unit, not only would the couple benefit, but the practitioner would gain a powerful ally.

Simply put, I blog to get the word out on the topic of couples and illness.

1 comment:

Julie said...

I love your blog. I don't think we talk enough about how our illnesses affect our relationships. I applaud your willingness to bring up this topics we often want to avoid.